Chapter 6. Customer Relationship Management

Long before customer relationship management (CRM) was a buzzword, organizations were designing and developing customer-centric dimensional models to better understand their customers' behavior. For nearly two decades these models have been used to respond to management's inquiries about which customers were solicited, which responded, and what was the magnitude of their response. The perceived business value of understanding the full spectrum of customers' interactions and transactions has propelled CRM to the top of the charts. CRM has emerged as a mission-critical business strategy that many view as essential to a company's survival.

In this chapter we discuss the implications of CRM on the world of data warehousing. Given the broad interest in CRM, we've allocated more space than usual to an overview of the underlying principles. Since customers play a role in so many business processes within our organizations, rather than developing schemas to reflect all customer interaction and transaction facts captured, we'll devote the majority of this chapter to the all-important customer dimension table.


Chapter 6 discusses the following concepts:

  • CRM overview, including its operational and analytic roles

  • Customer name and address parsing, along with international considerations

  • Common customer dimension attributes, such as dates, segmentation attributes, and aggregated facts

  • Dimension outriggers for large clusters of low-cardinality attributes ...

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